In Modeling, TUG Talks
Summary: Kaarin Hoff speaks at the IA Summit on how to abstract the complex with tools such as maps, blueprints, and personas, in order to bring clarity to our work.

It was my first IA Summit, my first time presenting, and one of the best experiences of my life. The talks were amazing and the people I met were welcoming and open to endless, interesting discussions.

About my talk:
Abstraction: the intentional filtering of information to focus a conversation on the core goal(s). It is not about making things simpler, but making them clearer.

Abstraction Best Practices (work in progress)

  • If its going to distract from the conversation, don’t include it
  • Use a model that fits the information, not vice versa
  • Clearer: not necessarily less, could even be more

Twitter Response:Kaarin at IAS13
Craig Peters “Less is more. Better yet, focus on clarity: “Clear is more” Thx Kaarin Hoff”
Joel Tachau “To help stakeholders out think about the model you choose to put the information in.”
Chris Farnum ‏”Absraction can prevent folks from focusing too early about details- helps avoid meeting pain.”


Program Description:
RoomTitle: Using Abstraction to Increase Clarity

Abstraction can be used at the beginning of a project to facilitate communication and reflection in order to establish a shared framework. This clarifies goals for decision makers and gives direction to the production team – preventing the project from getting stuck in the weeds.

In our everyday work, as people who create digital products, we are under a lot of pressure from clients/employers to produce concrete outputs – often with little clarity concerning goals. This leads to stress and ineffectual outcomes.

Looking at the course of human history, people have always used methods of abstraction to make sense of a complicated world (like mapmakers). As IAs we can take advantage of this natural human tactic to abstract the complex, in order to bring clarity to our work by using tools such as maps, blueprints, and personas.

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